Sunday, November 08, 2009

Getting there

The Brazilian consulate in DC is like a metaphor for third world. It's hot, crowded, incompetent and unfair. There is a bulletproof glass partition separating the great unwashed from the bureaucrats and surly people giving you confusing and sometimes contradictory information. When I went, it was the middle of summer and there was no air conditioning. Well...no air conditioning for the tourists. The people behind the glass were apparently nice and cool, but the rest of us were not so lucky. I don't know if you've ever been in DC in the summer, but this town was built on a swamp and it gets hot and humid in here. Many people don't know this, but ball sweat was invented in DC right before the civil war. Although back then it was known as "testicular perspiration" or "Lincoln's laundry".

Brazil require a lot of things to get your visa, not the least of which is a cashier's check for the exact amount you owe them. I had to make an extra trip there because my visa was $130, but the GF's visa was extra $10 because I was dropping it off for her. Would they take cash or a credit card for the difference? HAHAHAHAHA!!! No, just take another half day off work and wait in line again and you'll be fine.

After eventually getting the Brazilian visas, I high-tailed it over to the Paraguayan embassy for one of theirs. Paraguay's embassy is the size of a decent rowhouse in Dupont. The security guard was somebody's grandfather and the people behind the glass were somebody's cousins from that side of the family that you don't talk about in public.

We dropped the passports off and swung by on the morning of our flight because they apparently couldn't stamp two passports without at least a week of lead time. When we got there, they lost the passport...panic ensued. Even if we couldn't the paraguayan visa's, we couldn't go anywhere without our passports and our tickets were already paid for and non-refundable. I contemplated each of us losing $1000 on plane tickets and wondered if the grandpa guard would be able to stop me from strangling the strange woman who didn't seem to be too concerned about my lost passport....TO BE CONTINUED.

6 comments:

TheKillerJ said...

You can't cause problems down there though, they'll jiujitsu your ass.

Anonymous said...

congrats, now you know how the rest of the world feels when trying to get a visa to visit the states.

Beach Bum said...

Ditto what anonymous said... Brazil is all about reciprocity, so they ask the Americans to do exactly what is asked of Brazilians when trying to get a visa to the States. Including the no check no credit card policy. Ah, and the price of the visa.

Sara said...

Awesome you are in Brasil. I had to go through all those motions to do my first visa to Chile. It sucked. Mine was only $100 USD at the time. This last one was free because I did it in Chile. Oh, Latin American bureaucracy will you ever be consistent? Wait, that's a rhetorical question. Anywho, welcome to Latin America where the red tape is thicker than Texas toast, the men cry, and the women hit.

No seriously, I hope you have a great time.

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Granite Countertops said...

Look forward to the continuation.....